Wednesday, July 18, 2012

SOSEN - Would you Consider it Punishment?


WAR Stories - Wife of an ex-sex offender speaks out

Website

Video Description:
These are the stories of the families of registered sex offenders. They are the innocent victims of laws made by uninformed, unaware legislators spreading hate. They alone must bare the responsibility for destroying families. If you have a registrant in your circle of family or friends and you have a story of the ways in which your life has changed due to these unconstitutional laws, get in touch with us. Our goal is to flood this channel with the worst of the worst stories. We will travel to you to interview you on camera. If you are worried about being identified we can shoot you in such a way that your face is not shown. Get in touch and tell us YOUR stories. Keep in mind that these stories cannot be about problems with probation or parole or any ongoing court cases. We are searching for innocent victims of the sex offender registry alone.

Please include in your email a brief summery of how the registry has impacted your jobs, places to live, or ability to integrate into your community. We are particularly interested in stories of vigilantism. If you have been attacked or harmed by people who have found your address on the registry please get in touch.


WI - Green Bay sex offender ordinance preserved, strengthened

Original Article

07/18/2012

By Scott Cooper Williams

Despite strong encouragement from law enforcement, Green Bay aldermen voted late Tuesday against scrapping a sex offender residency ordinance blamed for driving offenders underground.

The action followed two hours of emotional debate about whether dictating where offenders may live lessens the chances that they will victimize more people in Green Bay.

City attorneys had urged aldermen to repeal the residency restriction and instead impose a 150-foot barrier that would prohibit offenders from going near schools, parks or other places where children gather.

The City Council elected to combine both the old and new approaches, seeking to strengthen a 5-year-old strategy for controlling sex offenders that has come under harsh criticism in recent months. The vote was a narrow 7-5 margin.

Proponents of maintaining the residency rule — which was designed to make it virtually impossible for offenders to live in Green Bay without prior city approval — argued that easing the restrictions would cause a surge in the number of offenders moving into the city.

Dean Gerondale, chairman of the city board that hears residency appeals from offenders, told aldermen that the system works well and makes the community safe by keeping many offenders out.

I very much disagree that it’s not fair to everyone,” Gerondale said. “It is fair to everyone.”
- And you are entitled to your opinion, but if you were forced to live with the laws, then you'd have a different opinion.

But critics in the law enforcement community urged aldermen to drop the residency rule, which they said has backfired and caused many sex offenders to move into Green Bay and live “underground” — without seeking city approval or reporting their whereabouts.

Brown County District Attorney David Lasee said restricting where offenders can live has no impact on their ability to move about the community and seek out new victims.
- It doesn't matter if the buffer zone if 100 miles, if a person is intent on committing a crime, they will.  The residency restrictions are only there to make people "feel" safe and to exile (punish) ex-offenders.

It’s not working,” Lasee said.

Green Bay police officials also have called for repealing the residency rule.

Enacted in 2007, the ordinance prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of any school, park or other place where children gather. That covers almost the entire city. To live in a restricted area, offenders must seek approval from the Sex Offender Residence Board, which meets once a month.

The strategy has come under fire in recent months not only because of offenders living underground, but also because state parole agents have said they are being forced to leave offenders homeless or keep them behind bars longer at taxpayer expense.
- Keeping them behind bars beyond their sentence, is unconstitutional, and the ACLU and other organizations SHOULD be jumping all over this.

Jed Neuman, a field supervisor for the state Department of Corrections, told aldermen Tuesday that the residency rule is making it harder for his agency to maintain the sex offender registry system, which is intended to track offenders’ movements statewide.

When this is compromised, you have a less safe community,” Neuman said.

In one change from the current system, the City Council agreed to exempt a state-operated transitional living facility on Shawano Avenue, allowing the state to place offenders there without city approval.

Another change, however, toughens the rules for offenders who want to live with a spouse or parent already established in the community. Previously exempt from the city’s ordinance, those offenders now must appear before the Sex Offender Residence Board, too.

All sex offenders also will face the added prohibition requiring them to stay at least 150 feet away from the established child safety areas in schools, parks, playgrounds and other places.

Alderman Jerry Wiezbiskie led the call for embracing the recommendation of city attorneys and repealing the residency restriction. Wiezbiskie said he opposed the measure back in 2007 and has since been proven correct by the system’s apparent flaws.

It’s a shame that we did hastily get into this,” he said. “Now it’s come back to bite us.


FL - Melbourne police officer (Jose Otero) facing sex charges may soon learn fate


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Jose Otero
Original Article

Yet another corrupt cop in Florida committing sexual crimes!  See the surveillance video here, and another video here.

07/18/2012

By J.D. Gallop

A Melbourne police officer charged with having on-duty sexual trysts with at least three suspected prostitutes in his patrol car could soon learn whether he can keep his law enforcement job, officials report.
- Surely if he is found guilty he will lose his job?

Officer Jose Otero, 42, was charged last month with five misdemeanor counts of purchasing the services of a person engaged in prostitution, and one count each of setting up and maintaining a place for lewdness or prostitution and solicitation of prostitution, court records show.

A pre-termination hearing on Otero’s employment with the Melbourne Police was held late Monday. No decisions have been made.

He still is suspended with pay and the chief has not yet made a decision,” said Sgt. Sheridan Shelly, spokesman for the Melbourne Police Department, whose agency has taken on a high-profile, proactive role in recent years to try to rid city streets of prostitution.

Melbourne police administrators ordered the officer to turn in his badge, gun and police radio May 26 following findings from their initial investigation.

The case — including possible surveillance video and investigative notes on the reported encounters — was turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The state agency issued Otera, who was never physically arrested or jailed, a notice to appear citation in early July.

Michael Bross, Otero’s attorney, said his client is innocent and adds that he did not have any sexual contact with the suspected prostitutes.

There are no photos, no videos. It is an allegation. I’ve had the chance to talk to all three prostitutes and these allegations are spurious,” said Bross. “My client knows a lot of suspects and people on the road.” Bross said he believes the women may have crafted the stories to get a better outcome on their own cases.

Otero, hired in March 2008, did not attend the pre-termination hearing. His attorney did. Melbourne police would not comment on the specifics of the case.

The chief had his meeting and is now taking everything into consideration,” Shelly said.

Melbourne police were tipped off to the allegations of wrongdoing involving Otero earlier this year and carried out surveillance of the officer.

Melbourne officers allege Otero used his patrol car for at least a year to pick up suspected prostitutes and then drive them to a secluded area in the 1000 block of South Harbor City Boulevard near the House of Lights and Home Accents store, which is not far from the police department’s substation on Apollo Boulevard, according to records.
- So if they did legit surveillance, then surely they have it all on video?

Officers said that Otero, whose salary is $37,000 a year, repeatedly paid the suspected prostitutes for sexual acts while sitting in the marked Melbourne police cruiser, according to police records.
- Then don't you have video / audio from his on-board cameras?

Police reported that Otero would then drive the suspected prostitutes to an unknown destination.
- Unknown?  So did you not follow him? You were doing surveillance, were you not?

Otero could not be reached for comment.

He’s doing fine,” Bross said. “My client has a right to resign, but he hasn’t. He chose not to because he’s not guilty.”


NY - 'Perv insurance' hits city contractors

Original Article

07/10/2012

By TINA MOORE

With pedophiles dominating the headlines, the pervert problem has gotten so out of control that the city is requiring abuse and molestation insurance for contractors.
- Just because someone sexually abuses a child, based on the definition, doesn't mean they are a pedophile.

Experts say it’s a wise policy that protects taxpayers from massive payouts to sexual assault victims, but the pricey requirement could hurt the little guy stuck paying for the sins of others.

Not only did (Penn State coach) Jerry Sandusky hurt those kids in Pennsylvania, it's going to have repercussions for kids all over the country,” said ex-NYPD Detective Pat Russo, who heads the Atlas NYPD Cops for Kids Boxing Program.
- Are you doing background checks on these men?  Many police officers are the ones committing the sexual crimes against children, as seen here.

The free Staten Island boxing program for low-income kids is on the ropes because it can’t afford the expensive price for protection against predators.

Russo says he sank $25,000 in retrofitting a gym at the public Berry Houses project but discovered that the $2,000 a year he pays for general liability insurance at his four other boxing gyms doesn’t include molestation coverage.
- Yep, so now businesses are being hit in the pocket book due to the sex offender hysteria!

His insurance broker told him that would run him another $15,000 a year.
- And others are getting rich from it!

We could never handle that,” he said.

The city Housing Authority said the insurance requirement predates revelations about Sandusky — the Penn State football coach convicted last month of abusing young boys.

The Housing Authority launched a new system to ensure compliance with molestation insurance coverage last year.

The coverage is required for vendors sponsoring a range of services for kids and seniors in public housing, including sporting events and educational programs.

We deal with a lot of vulnerable populations,” said Housing Authority spokeswoman Sheila Stainback, adding that 400,000 residents could “come in contact with a whole range of people who maybe should not be working in their homes.

Stainback could not say whether the authority requires contractors to do background checks.

The city Education Department does do background checks — and, for now, says its vendors don’t need the extra insurance.

We may consider reviewing this, but what we have found is that background checks are effective measures to ensure the safety of children,” education spokeswoman Margie Feinberg said.

Tom Baker, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, said insurers have started cutting abuse coverage out of general policies — forcing businesses to buy add-ons — because of the huge hits from sex scandals.

The exclusion of these kinds of claims is becoming very standard, so a savvy government agency dealing with the public sector should be requiring it,” he said.

Harvey Rosen, a broker with Schmutter Strull Fleisch who specializes in nonprofits, said the cost depends on the number of workers in a program, the age and type of clientele and what type of safety precautions are in place.

But the bottom line, he said, is that government agencies don’t want to get stuck with the bill if a contractor gets sued for improper behavior in a city building.

Insurance companies are getting deluged with these allegations and lawsuits, and it’s not a surprise NYCHA would require this,” he said.

Some Housing Authority contractors told the Daily News they had coverage. Others were unfamiliar with it.

It’s the first I’m hearing of it,” said Vicki Cusare of the Italian American Civil Rights League, which runs a community center at Brooklyn’s Pink Houses.

Oh, please, no more insurance!” said Cusare, who was unsure if she was covered.


MI - Legislation being introduced in Michigan to help prevent sex abuse

Original Article

07/18/2012

Today, lawmakers in Michigan consider a tougher new, law designed to prevent child abuse that many other states already have.

Statistics show one out of four girls and one out of seven boys are sexually abused by the age of 18.

Michigan State Senator John Proos of St. Joseph has joined with sex abuse advocate Erin Merryn at the Berrien County Council for Children to help raise awareness about sex abuse.

Merryn is a sex abuse survivor and has made it a mission to help prevent abuse.

Four states, including Indiana, have passed Erin's Law named after Merryn.

Senator Proos and Merryn were scheduled to testify today before a Health Policy Committee in hopes of passing similar legislation in Michigan.

"This is the silent epidemic," said Merryn. "We all look the other way and don't want to address. But the truth of the matter is, this is going on in everybody's backyard."

Under the legislation proposed in Michigan, schools would adopt age appropriate curriculum, train school personnel on child sexual abuse and adopt policies to inform parents on the warning signs of abuse.


John Walsh - Biography Channel

The following was sent to us via the contact form and posted with the users permission.

The other week, there was a post about a documentary featuring John Walsh from ‘America’s Most Wanted’ and father of Adam Walsh (after whom the sex offender law is named). In the documentary, John Walsh admitted to dating his wife when she was 16 and he was in his 20’s. An excerpt from the documentary can be found here: (Full documentary here)


When I was attending the SO treatment program there was another offender in the program who was around 19-20 and was convicted for acts with his girlfriend, who was 15. They were part of the same youth group… someone reported it… he was arrested. In court the girlfriend argued that it was consensual but the judge said she was a minor and couldn’t consent.

There were some people in my program who deserved to be there, others who I believe didn’t, but he, in particular, I felt badly for. Even though he only got probation, his life was ruined. He couldn’t stay over at his mom’s house because a minor sibling was there, he wasn’t admitted to college because of his offense, he kept getting fired from jobs because someone would notice his GPS or co-workers would Google his name and create drama.

After reading about John Walsh his situation has been really bothering me.

In doing my fact checking on the John Walsh documentary, I came across a report on Joshua Lunsford, son of another SO Law activist; Mark Lunsford, father of Jessica Lunsford (after whom another sex offender law is named). The details about Josh can be found here. Turns out Joshua molested a 14 year old when he was 18. He got a few days in jail but isn’t registered.


Absent the obvious conclusion, I wonder why Walsh and Lunsford get to avoid the registry while others don’t. What is the difference between John Walsh dating a minor and the guy in my group? I wonder if they would have advocated so vehemently for these laws named after their family members, if they themselves would have been subjected to them. If society is so concerned about monitoring these types of offenses wouldn’t they be equally concerned about ALL offenders who have committed them?

Considering the “Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act” eliminates the statute of limitations on the prosecution of felony sex crimes against children, wouldn’t it be a perfect illustration of the success of the act if John Walsh were prosecuted under it?